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Book. , B 7 S 





(In English In Hexameter Verse) 
I. Perley Smith, Ph. D., D. D, 


Boston, Mass. 

library of Congress 

Two Copies Received 

NOV 16 1908 

Copyrijtnt Entry 

uopyrittm tntry _ 

class at **& 

XXfc No, 

COPY 3. 

Copyright 1908 by 

Lawrence, Mass. 


The study of some portion of Virgil's poems has long 
been considered a requisite for students pursuing an extended 
course of education. Martin Luther when a young man at 
the University made a thorough study of Cicero, Virgil and 
other classic authors in preparation for his life work. It is 
not strange that a man of his genius should find delight in 
the expressive beauty of Virgil's thoughts and Virgil's style. 
Many boys and girls in the early part of their classical course 
have been deeply impressed with the vivid representations 
and the elegance of these lines; and have had feelings similar 
to those of a boy fourteen years of age who was reading the 
story of the overthrow of Troy, and who said to his teacher 
that if he ever became a rich man, he would like to give the 
money to rebuild that ancient city. 

I have long thought it would be a good thing to have 
Virgil's poems translated into English in hexameter verse for 
the benefit of those persons who are not able to read them in 
the language in which Virgil wrote them. 

And so I have undertaken the task of thus presenting the 
Eclogues. The poet Longfellow made in hexameter verse 
an excellent translation of the first Eclogue which is pub- 
lished in his complete works. But I am not aware that the 
other nine have ever before been thus translated. 

Hoping that the reader of these pages may find pleasure 
in them, I offer them to the public. 

I. Perley Smith. 
Lawrence, Massachusetts, 

October 16, 1907. 




To his wife who has felt deep interest in this 
work it is affectionately dedicated by the author. 



Tityrus, under the shade of a wide-spreading beech 

tree reclining, 
Thou with slender reed meditatest a song of the 

woodlands ; 
We the bounds of our country and our sweet fields 

relinquish : 
We flee our country; Tityrus, thou, at ease in the 


Teachest the woods to resound the name of the fair 5 



Oh ! Meliboeus, a god hath for us this leisure 

provided : 
For indeed he will be a god to me always; his 

Shall a tender lamb from our sheepfolds often-times 

He my heifers to wander about as thou seest and 

To play whatever I wished on a rustic reed hath 10 



Not indeed do I thee envy; rather I wonder: 
In all the fields there is everywhere around so much 

Iyo! I myself although sick my goats forward am 

This one, Tityrus, scarce lead, for here now among 

the thick hazels, 
j^ Having yeaned twins, the hope of the flock, on a 

bare cliff, ah! she left them. 
I remember that to me, had my mind not been 

The oaks touched from Heaven had often predicted 

this evil; 
Often the ill-boding crow from the hollow ilex 

But who that god, nevertheless, is, Tityrus, 

tell me. 


20 I supposed the city which they call Rome, 

Foolish that I was, like this one whither we 

Often to drive down the tender young of our sheep 

are accustomed: 
So I had known whelps similar to dogs, so kids to 

their mothers, 
So I was wont to compare great things with things 

that are little. 
2 5 Truly this place hath as much lifted its head 

among other cities 
As the cypresses are wont among the pliant 



And for seeing Rome what reason hadst thou so 

Influential ? 


Liberty; which late, yet nevertheless regarded me 

After my beard was falling whiter when I was 

Nevertheless it regarded me and came after a long 3° 

Since Amaryllis hath me and Galatea hath left me, 
For, and I will confess it, while Galatea detained 

No hope had I of liberty, neither care for my 

Although many a victim went forth from my 

And rich cheese was pressed down for a city 35 


Never did my right hand return home heavy with 



I used to wonder why sad thou invokedst the gods, 

And for whom on the tree thou didst let the apples 

be hanging: 
Tityrus from here was absent. For thee the very 

pine trees, 
Tityrus called, the very fountains, these very 40 

groves called. 


What could I do? I was neither escape from 

bondage permitted, 
Nor to know elsewhere concerning gods so 

Here I saw that young man in worship of whom, 

Every year our altars for twice six days are 

smoking. . 
45 Here he first gave to me a response when I 

sought it: 
'Feed your heifers as formerly, boys, and yoke up 

the bullocks.' 


Fortunate old man ! Thy lands shall then in thy 

possession continue, 
And large enough for thee, though the naked rock 

and the marshland 
With the slimy bulrush should overspread all the 

50 No unaccustomed fodder shall tempt the ewes that 

are gravid, 
Neither evil contagion of a flock neighboring harm 

Fortunate old man ! Here in the midst of streams 

that are famous, 
Also fountains sacred, thou wilt enjoy the cool 


On this side as ever a hedge on the neighboring 

On whose willow flower are Hyblsean bees feeding, 55 
Often shall to sleep, by its soft whispering, 

win thee. , 
There a vine-dresser, under a high rock, shall sing 

to the breezes, 
Neither yet shall thy pets, the hoarse wood 

pigeons, meanwhile, 
Nor the aerial turtle-dove on the elm, leave off 

their mourning. 


Sooner shall the fleet-footed deer on the sea find 60 

their pasture 
And the naked fishes on the shore abandon the 

Sooner, the bounds of both roamed over, shall the 

Parthian exile 
Drink of the Arar, or shall the German drink of the 

Than shall his appearance glide away from my 



But we will go home, some of us to the thirsty 65 

Part will to Scythia come, and to the rapid Cretan 


And far away to the Britons from the whole 
world divided. 

Ah, shall I ever, long hereafter, the bounds of my 

And the roof of my poor cottage with turf covered 
7° My realm after several harvests, gaze on with 
wonder ? 

Shall an impious soldier possess these fallows so 
well tilled? 

A barbarian these grain fields ? Ah, to what has 
civil discord 

Lowered wretched citizens ! For these our fields 
we have planted ! 

Graft now the pear trees, put in order the vines, 
Meliboeus ! 

75 Go forth, my goats, go forth, my flock that was 
happy aforetime. 

No more shall I hereafter, stretched in a green- 
bestrown grotto, 

See you far away from a bush-covered rocky cliff 

No song shall I sing; no more, while, my goats, I 
feed you, 

Shall ye browse on the blossoming clover and bitter 



Nevertheless thou mightest this night here with me go 

rest thee 
On the green leaves: we have mellow apples in our 

Chestnuts that are tender, and pressed milk in 

And now the tops of the roofs of the distant 

farmhouses are smoking, 
And the shadows from the lofty mountains fall 



Corydon, the Shepherd, loved with ardor the fair 

The darling of his master, nor did he have what he 
hoped for, 

Only among the thick beeches, with their shade- 
giving branches, 

He incessantly came. There alone, these unpolished 
5 He poured forth with vain fondness to the 
mountains and woodlands. 

Dost thou not care for my songs, O cruel Alexis ? 
Dost thou not pity me ? Finally to die thou wilt 

compel me. 
Now even the cattle the shade and the cool places 

are seeking; 
Now the thornbrakes are even the green lizards 

10 And for the reapers exhausted by the heat that is 

Thestylis pounds herbs sweet scented, the wild 

thyme and the garlic. 
But while I trace thy footsteps under a sun that is 

The trees resound to the hoarse crickets in company 

with me. 

Would it not be better to bear the dreadful wrath of 

And even her proud disdain, would it not to suffer 15 

Swarthy though he was, although thou wast fair 

coinplexioned ? 
Trust, O beautiful boy, not too much to thine 

appearance ! 
White privets fall neglected, dusky jacinths are 


I am despised by thee, nor dost thou ask who I am, 

How rich in herds, in the snowy white milk, how 20 

A thousand of my lambs wander in the Sicilian 

mountains : 
New milk is not wanting to me in summer nor 

winter ; 
I sing the same songs which Dircaean Amphion 

used to, 
When, his herds on Attic Aracinthus, he called 


Nor am I so very hideous : on shore I saw myself 2 5 

When the sea lay unruffled by the wind ; I will not 

fear Daphnis 
With thee to decide since my image never deceives 


Oh that it only might please thee along with me to 

The humble country and lowly cottage, and the 
deer to prostrate, 
30 And to drive a flock of kids to the green marsh- 
mallow ! 

In the woods along with me thou shalt Pan rival 
in singing. 

Pan first taught joining several reed-pipes with wax 
together ; 

Pan to the sheep and the keepers of the sheep gives 

Neither let having rubbed thy lip with a reed 

displease thee. 
35 What did not Amyntas do, that he might know 

these same things ? 
I have a pipe of seven unequal reeds fitted closely 
Together, which as a gift Damoetas once to me 

And when dying said, 'This now hath thee for 

a second possessor.' 
So said Damoetas : of him the foolish Amyntas was 


40 Moreover, in a valley not safe were two little 

Found by me, whose skins are even now with 

white speckled over, 
Each daily drains a sheep's two udders ,* these for 

thee I am keeping : 


Thestylis hath begged for a long time to have them 

from me ; 
And she will do so^ seeing that to thee my gifts 

are worthless. 

Hither come, O beautiful boy : lo, the nymphs are 45 

To thee lilies in full baskets ; for thee the white 

Plucking the pale violets and the heads of the 

Joins the daffodil and flower of the sweet-smelling 

anise ; 
Then interweaving them with cassia and other 

herbs that are fragrant, 
With the yellowish marigold, she paints the 50 

delicate jacinths. 

I myself will gather white quinces with down that 

is tender, 
And chestnuts, which used to be loved by my 

Amaryllis ; 
Waxen plums I will add ; also this fruit shall 

have honor; 
And you will I pluck, O laurels, and myrtle thee 

Seeing that, being thus arranged, ye will mingle 55 

sweet odors. 

Thou art rustic, Corydon, nor for thy gifts cares 


Nor would Iollas yield the palm, if with gifts thou 

shouldst hold contest. 
Ah, ah, what did I wish for my wretched self ! I on 

my flowers 
Have, ruined, let loose the south wind, and wild 

boars on my pure fountains. 

60 Ah, foolish boy, whom dost thou flee ? The gods 

too, inhabit the woodlands, 
And Dardanian Paris. Let Pallas herself dwell 

in the castles 
Which she hath built : let the woodlands please us 

before all things. 
The grim lioness the wolf pursues ; the wolf the 

goat likewise ; 
The sportive goat goes in pursuit of the blossoming 

clover ; 
6 5 Corydon, thee, O Alexis ; his own pleasure draws 

each one. 

Behold, the bullocks bring back the plows from 

the yoke suspended, 
And the sun declining doubles the lengthening 

Nevertheless love burns me ; for to love, what can 

be the limit ? 
Corydon, Corydon, ah, what kind of a frenzy hath 

seized thee ? 
7° Only half pruned is thy vine on the leafy elm tree. 


Why dost thou not rather endeavor to weave at 

least something, 
Of what need requires, from the osiers and pliant 

bulrush ? 
Thou wilt find another Alexis if this one disdains 





Tell me, Damcetas, whose is that flock, is it that of 
Melibceus ? 


No, but Agon's ; lately iEgon delivered it to me. 


O sheep, always a hapless flock, while he himself 

Neara, and fears lest she should prefer me above 

This unfaithful shepherd milks the sheep twice in 

an hour ; 
And the food from the herd, and the milk from the 

lambs is stolen. 


Bear in mind that these things should be flung at 
men not so freely. 

We know both who corrupted thee, and in what 
sacred grotto, 

While askance looked the goats — but the good- 
natured nymphs smiled. 



Then, I imagine, when they say/ me hack with 10 

Pruning-knif e the grove of Mycon and the vines 

that were tender. 


Or when thou didst break the bow and the arrows 

of Daphnis 
Here nearby the old beech trees : which when, 

spiteful Menalcas, 
Thou to the boy sawest presented, thou wast both 

And thou wouldst have died, if to him thou hadst z $ 

not in some way done mischief. 


What can the masters do, when the thieves are so 

audacious ? 
Did I not see thee catch the goat of Damon, most 

wretched fellow, 
With thy crafty tricks, while with fury Lycisca 

was barking ? 
And when I cried out : 'Whither now away doth he 

hurry ? 
Tityrus gather the flock;' thou behind the sedges 20 

wast hiding. 


Ought he not to render to me, when vanquished in 


The goat which my pipe had deservedly won by its 

music ? 
If thou dost not know it, that goat was my own ; 

and to me Damon 
Even confessed it, but said that he could not 

restore it. 


25 Didst thou surpass him in singing, or was there in 

thy possession 
Ever a pipe joined with wax ? Wast thou not wont, 

untaught one, 
With squeaking pipe to murder a wretched tune at 

the three ways ? 


Art thou willing then that we should by turns try 

with one another 
What we each can do ? I wager this heifer — lest 

thou shouldst reject her 
30 By chance, she comes twice daily to the milk pail, 

and with her udder 
Feeds two calves — say, with what stake thou wilt 

with me make a contest. 


Anything from the herd I would not dare wager 
against thee. 

For I have a father at home, I have a jealous step- 
mother ; 


They both number the sheep, and one of them the 

kids twice daily. 
But what thou thyself wilt safely confess is far 35 

Since it is pleasing to thee to play the fool, I will 

My beechen goblets, the divine Alcimedon's carved 

work : 
Round which a twining vine superadded by the 

skilful chisel, 
Clothes the clusters scattered about with the 

pale ivy : 
In the midst two figures, Conon — and who was the 40 

other ? 
Who with his wand distributed the whole world to 

the nations, 
What seasons the reaper, what the bent ploughman 

ought to attend to ? 
Nor yet have I moved my lips to them, but keep 

them laid up. 


For me too the same Alcimedon two goblets hath 

And he hath twined the handles around with the 45 

soft acanthus, 

He hath also placed Orpheus in the midst, and the 
bowing forests. 


Nor yet have I moved my lips to them, but keep 

them laid up : 
If thou regardest the heifer, there is naught to 

praise in the goblets. 


Not at all shalt thou escape today ; I will come to 
what thou callest. 
50 Only let him hear these things — even who comes, 
lo, Palaemon ! 
I will cause that henceforth thou shalt challenge 
no one with thy singing. 

Come then if thou hast aught, in me there shall be 

no delaying. 
Nor do I shun anyone : only, neighbor Palaemon, 
Give these things closest attention, it is not a small 



55 Sing, inasmuch as ourselves on the soft grass we 

have seated : 
And now every field, now every tree is full 

Now the forests are green, now the year abounds 

most in beauty. 
Begin Damcetas ; Menalcas, thereupon do thou 

Sing in alternate verses ; Muses love alternate 




Let us begin from Jove, ye Muses ; all things are 60 

filled with Jove fully. 
He fosters the earth, to him my songs are an object 

of favor. 


Phoebus, too, loves me for Phcebus are with me 

his always 
Suitable gifts, the laurels and the sweet blushing 



Galatea, frolicsome girl, aims at me with an apple, 
And flies to the willows, and to be seen first 65 
is eager. 


But my flame, Amyntas, himself to me willingly 

So that Delia is not to our dogs now known better. 


Presents have been obtained for my love; for I 

have noted 
The place myself, where the airy wood-pigeons 

have gathered. 


What I could, I sent to the boy, ten golden apples 70 
Gathered from a forest tree ; tomorrow I will send 


Oh, how often and what things hath Galatea said 

to me, 
Back to the ears of the gods, some part ye winds, 

What avails it that thou thyself dost not spurn me, 
75 If while thou chasest wild boars, for the nets I am 
caring ? 


Unto me send Phillis : it is my birthday, Iollas ; 
Come thyself, when for the fruits, I offer a heifer. 


I love Phillis before others ; for she wept when I 

And said, 'Farewell, a long farewell, thou 

handsome Iollas.' 


80 To the folds the wolf is harmful, to ripe fruit the 
To the trees the winds, and to me the anger of 


To the growing crops moisture is sweet, to weaned 

kids the arbutus, 
The soft willow to the teeming herd, to me only 




Pollio is fond of my Muse, although she is rustic, 

Ye Pierian sisters, feed for your reader a heifer. 85 


Pollio even himself makes new songs : feed ye the 

Which now attacks with his horn, and the sand 

with his feet scatters. 


Let him come, who loves thee, Pollio, where he 

rejoices that thou hast : 
For him let honey flow, and let the rough bramble 

bring forth amomum. 


Let him, who hates not Bavius, thy songs, Maevius, 90 

And let the same yoke up foxes, and let him milk 



O boys, who gather flowers and the strawberries 

On the ground, flee hence, a cold snake, in the 

grass lies hidden. 



Forbear, ye sheep, from proceeding too far ; it is 
not safe trusting 
95 To the bank ; even the ram himself his fleece is 
now drying. 


Tityrus, drive thy grazing goats away from the 

river : 
When it is time, I myself will wash them all in the 



Drive together the sheep, boys ; if the heat should 

the milk dry up, 
As of late, in vain shall we with our palms press 

the udders. 


ioo How lean, alas, alas, in the fattening vetch is my 
bullock ! 
The same love is destruction to herd and to the 


Surely love is not the cause with these ; scarce to 

their bones are they clinging. 
I do not know what eye bewitches my lambs that 

are tender. 



Say, in what lands— and thou wilt be my great 

Apollo — 
The space of the sky not more than three ells lies 105 



Say, in what lands, with the names of kings grow 

the flowers 
Inscribed, and thou only shalt have possession of 



It is not mine to settle so great contests between 

Both thou and he the heifer deserve, and whoever 

shall either 
Fear sweet love, or whoever shall experience bitter. II0 
Close up your streams now, boys; the meadows 

have drunk a plenty. 



Let us sing of things a little greater, Sicilian 

The trees and the humble tamarisks do not delight 

If we sing of woodlands, let them be worthy 

a consul. 
The last age of Cumaean prophecy has come 

already ; 
5 Over again the great series of the ages commences : 
Now too returns the Virgin, return the Saturnian 

kingdoms ; 
Now at length a new progeny is sent down from 

high heaven. 
Only, chaste Lucina, to the boy at his birth be 

In whose time first the age of iron shall discontinue, 
io And in the whole world a golden age rise; now 

rules thy Apollo. 

Just while thou too, Pollio, just while thou art a 

Shall this glorious age come, and great months 

commence to roll onward. 
Under thy guidance, if any traces of our guilt 



Rendered harmless, they shall set the earth free 

from fear forever. 
He shall partake of the life of the gods, and he I5 

shall see 
Heroes mingled with gods, and he too shall be seen 

by them. 
And he shall rule a peaceful world with his father's 


But the earth, O boy, shall pour forth her little 

gifts to thee, 
Even where without culture the creeping ivies with 

And colocasia are mingled with the smiling 20 

The goats of themselves shall homeward bring back 

their udders 
With the milk distended, nor shall they fear the 

great lions ; 
Even the cradle shall pour forth to thee charming 

And the serpent shall die, and the false herb 

of poison 
Shall die ; the Assyrian amomum shall spring up 25 

Everywhere. But as soon as thou shalt now be able 
To read the praises of heroes and the deeds of thy 

And to know what virtue is ; the field shall slowly 

grow yellow 


With the soft grain, and the blushing grape from 

the wild bramble 
30 Shall hang, and the hard oaks shall distil dewy 

Yet a few lurking traces of ancient vice shall 

Which shall bid men with ships tempt the sea, and 

Cities with walls, and which shall bid them cleave 

in the earth furrows : 
There will then be another Tiphys, and another 

35 Which will bear chosen heroes ; there will be other 

wars likewise, 
And again also to Troy will be sent great Achilles. 

Afterwards when at length mature age a man shall 

have made thee, 
Even the merchant himself shall retire from the 

sea, nor shall naval 
Pine make exchange of prices : every land shall 

bear all things : 
4° The ground shall not suffer the harrows, nor the 

vine the knife for pruning ; 
The sturdy ploughman shall also now loosen the 

yokes from the bullocks ; 
Nor shall the wool learn to counterfeit various 

colors : 
But the ram himself in the meadows shall change 

his fleece over, 


Now with sweetly blushing purple, now with saffron 

yellow ; 
Scarlet shall of itself clothe the lambs while they 45 

are feeding. 

Hasten on such ages, the Destinies sang to their 

Being in the unchanging decree of the fates 


Oh approach, great honors, the time will soon 

be present, 
Thou dear offspring of the gods, great progeny of 

Behold the world with its convex ponderosity 50 

And the earth, and the regions of the sea, and the 

depths of heaven ! 
Behold how all things rejoice at the coming of this 

age ! 
Oh that the last part of my life may so long 

And so much of my breath, as to sing thy deeds 

shall be sufficient ! 
Neither shall Thracian Orpheus, nor Linus, surpass 55 

me in singing, 
Though his mother give aid to the one, and his 

father the other, 
Calliopea to Orpheus, handsome Apollo to Linus. 
If even Pan should contend with me, Arcadia 



Pan even would say that he was vanquished' 
Arcadia judging. 

60 Begin, little boy, with a smile to distinguish 

thy mother : 
To thy mother ten months brought the qualms long 

Begin, little boy, on whom have not smiled his 

Nor a god with his table, nor goddess with her bed, 

hath honored. 




Now that, Mopsus, we have met here together, 

both skilful, 
Thou in swelling slender reeds, I in singing verses, 
Why have we not sat down here among the elms 

mingled with hazels ? 

Thou art the elder ; it is just that I should obey 

thee, Menalcas, 
Whether under the quivering shadows, stirred by 5 

the zephyrs, 
Or if we repair to this grotto: behold how the wild 

Of the woodlands has here and there scattered the 

grotto with clusters. 

Only Amyntas in our mountains should with thee 
hold a contest. 


What if the same should strive to surpass Apollo 
in singing ? 


Begin, Mopsus, first, whether thou hast either some 10 
loves of Phillis, 


Or some praises of Alcon, or some quarrels of 

Codrus : 
Begin; Tityrus will care for the kids that are 



Nay, I will try rather these songs which I carved 

In the green bark of a beech tree, and setting to 
music, I noted 
15 Down alternately ; bid then to the contest 


As far as yields the pliant willow to the pale olive, 
As far as the humble lavender to the crimson rose 

So far according to my judgment to thee yields 

But forbear to say more, boy ; we have come to the 



20 The Nymphs, when Daphnis was cut off by a death 

that was cruel, 
For him lamented ; ye hazels and streams to the 

Nymphs bear witness ; 
When the mother, the hapless body of her son 

Calls out to the gods, and also to the stars, 'Ye are 



Not any persons, during those days, drove their 

fed cattle 
To the cooling streams, Daphnis ; neither of river 25 

did any 
Quadruped taste ; nor did it touch a single blade of 

The wild mountains, Daphnis, and the forests 

declare that 
Carthaginian lions even have mourned over thy 

Daphnis also introduced yoking Armenian tigers 
To a chariot ; Daphnis, too, the leading of festive 30 

Of Bacchus, and the pliant spears with soft leaves 


As the vine is the glory of the trees, as the grapes 

of the vine, 
As the bulls of the herds, as the crops of the rich 

So thou art of thy friends all the glory ! After the 

fates bore 
Thee off, Pales herself and Apollo the fields 35 

Worthless darnel and sterile wild oats spring up in 

the furrows, 
To which we have often the large grains of barley 

Instead of the soft violet, instead of the purple 



The thistle springs up and the thorn-bush with the 
sharp prickles. 

40 Strew the ground with leaves, draw the shadows 

over the fountains, 
Shepherds. Daphnis orders such things to be done 

for him ; 
And make a tomb, and to the tomb superadd 

an inscription : 
*I am Daphnis in the woodlands, known hence even 

to the stars. 
Guard of a beautiful flock, myself more beautiful 



45 Such is thy song to me, as sleep on the grass, 

divine poet, 
Is to those that are weary, as during the heat of 

To allay thirst from a purling stream of fresh 

Nor with reeds only, but with thy voice, dost thou 

equal thy master. 
Fortunate boy, thou shalt from this time be to him 

the second. 
50 Nevertheless I will sing by turn such things as 

these to thee, 
With what skill I may, and I will bear up to the 

stars thy Daphnis. 
I will raise Daphnis up to the stars : Daphnis too 

loved me. 


Can anything be more welcome to me than such a 

tribute ? 
And the boy too is worthy of being in song made 

Stimachon also long ago these songs of thine 55 

praised to me. 

On the strange threshold of Olympus, clothed 

in white, Daphnis 
Gazes with wonder ; under his feet he sees the 

clouds and the stars. 
Therefore eager delight holds possession of the 

woods and other 
Parts of the country, of Pan too, and the shepherds, 

and Dryad maidens. 
Neither doth the wolf meditate any plots against 60 

the flock, 
Nor nets furnish a snare for the deer ; good 

Daphnis loves rest, 
The unshorn mountains themselves with joy lift up 

their voices 
To the stars ; the very rocks now lift their songs 

'A god, Menalcas, he is a god,' murmur forth the 

very woodlands. 
Oh, be propitious and kind to thine own ! Lo, four 55 

altars ! 
Behold two for thee, Daphnis, two high altars for 



Year by year two goblets that are with new milk 

Also two bowls of rich olive oil will I to thee offer. 
And especially with much wine our festivities 

70 Before the fireside, if winter, in the shade if it is 

From the cups Ariusian wine, a newly found nectar, 
I will pour out. To me Damoetas and Lyctian iEgon 
Shall sing ; Alphesiboeus shall imitate the dancing 


These rites always shall be thine, both when we 
pay solemn 
75 Vows to the nymphs, and of the fields we make the 
While the wild boar shall be fond of the tops of 

the mountain, 
While the fish of rivers, and while bees shall feed 

on the thyme, while crickets 
On dew, always shall thine honor, and name, and 

praises continue ; 
As to Bacchus and to Ceres, so to thee yearly, 
80 Shall the farmers make vows : thou also with vows 
shalt bind them. 


What gifts, what gifts, for such a song, shall I to 

thee render ? 
For neither doth the murmuring of the south wind 



So much delight me, nor so much the shores lashed 

by the billows, 
Nor the rivers that run down through the rocky 



In the first place, with this fragile pipe I will 85 

present thee : 
This taught me 'Corydon loved with ardor the 

handsome Alexis.' 
This same, 'Whose herd is this, is it that of 

Melibceus ? ' 


But, Menalcas, do thou take this crook, beautiful 

for its 
Uniform knobs and brass, which Antigonus — and 

he was worthy 
To be loved— did not carry off, though of me often 90 

he begged it. 



My Thalia was the first that deigned in Syracusan 
Verse to sport, nor did she blush to inhabit the 

Cynthius, pulled my ear when I would sing of kings 

and of battles, 
And gave the admonition : * It devolves on a 

5 Tityrus, to feed thrifty sheep, and sing a fine spun 


Nor will I, O Varus — for there will be enough who 

Wish thy praises to sing and commemorate wars 

that were dreadful — 
Meditate a rural song with a slender reed pipe. 
I sing things not unbidden : yet if, too, any one taken 
10 By love, if any one shall read these things, our 

tamarisks, Varus, 
The whole grove, shall sing of thee ; nor to Phoebus 

is any 
Page more dear than that on whose front is written 

the name of Varus. 
Go on, ye Muses ! The boys Chromis and also 

Saw Silenus as he was lying asleep in a grotto, 
15 His veins being with yesterday's wine, as always, 



At a distance were lying his garlands only just 

And his heavy jug by its well worn handle was 

Laying hold of him — for the old man had often 

deceived them 
Both with the hope of a song — with his very gar- 
lands they bind him. 
^Egle adds herself as companion, and comes on 20 

them timid — 
iEgle, fairest of the Naiads — and just as his eyes 

he is 
Opening, with blood red mulberries she paints his 

forehead and temples. 
Smiling at the ruse, he says, "Why do you bind me 

with fetters? 
Loose me, boys ; it is enough to seem to have 

been able : 
Listen to the songs, which you desire ; the songs 25 

for you ; 
For her there will be another reward''. At once he 

Then truly you might have seen the fauns and the 

wild beasts dancing 
To the measure, then the rigid oaks waving their 

summits ; 
Nor doth the Parnasian rock have so much pleasure 

in Phoebus, 
Nor doth Rhodope so much, nor Ismarus, wonder 30 

at Orpheus. 


For he sang how the seeds of the worlds through 

space without limit, 
And also of the air, and of the sea, had been 

collected ; 
And at the same time of pure fire ; how from these 

All the elements and the world's tender orb became 

35 Then how the ground began to harden and to shut 

the water 
Off in the sea,and slowly take on the forms of objects; 
And now how at the light of the new sun, the 

worlds were astonished, 
And how from the clouds suspended high, down 

came the showers ; 
When the woods first began to rise, and when the 

animals, scattered 
40 Here and there, began to wander about in strange 

He next tells of the stones that Pyrrha threw, the 

Saturnian kingdoms, 
And also the Caucasian birds, and the theft of 

To these he adds the fountain where the sailors 

shouted for Hylas 
Left behind, how with Hylas, Hylas, the whole 

shore resounded. 
45 And in her mad love of a snow-white bullock he 

gives consolation 
To Pasiphae, fortunate if herds had never existed. 


Ah, unhappy young woman, what infatuation pos- 
sessed thee ! 
The daughters of Prceteus filled the fields with low- 

ings unreal : 
But yet nevertheless not any one of them pursued 

Vile embraces of beasts, however much she feared 50 

the plough from 
Her neck, and had often felt for horns on her 

smooth forehead. 
Ah, unhappy young woman, thou art now roaming 

the mountains : 
He, supporting his snow-white side upon the soft 

Under a gloomy ilex ruminates colorless herbage, 
Or in a nnmerous herd he follows some female. 55 

Close, ye Nymphs, 
Ye Dictaean Nymphs, close now the open parts of 

If by any chance my bullock's wandering foot- 
May present themselves before my eyes ; mayhap 

some heifers 
May entice him off away to the Gortynian stables, 
Either by green pasture induced or following the 

Then of the girl who was charmed with the apples g 

of Hesperus' daughters 
He sings ; then with the moss of bitter bark, he 



The sisters of Phaethon, and from the ground raises 

tall alders. 
Then he sings how one of the sisters led Gallus, 

when roaming 
65 By the streams of Permessus, to the Aonian moun- 
tains ; 
And how all the choir of Phoebus rose up to do him 

honor ; 
And how Iyinus, the shepherd of divine song, and 

Having his locks adorned with flowers and bitter 

Said : ''The Muses give these reeds to thee, pray 

accept them, 
70 Which they gave to the Ascraean old man, with 

which he was 
Formerly wont to bend down the rigid ash trees in 

the mountains. 
To thee on these let the origin of the Grynaean forest 
Be sung, that there may be no grove in which more 

Apollo may glory." 
Why should I speak either of Scylla the daughter 

of Nisus, 
75 Whom fame reports, girt about her white groin with 

barking monsters, 
To have vexed the Dulichian ships, and in the 

abyss deep 
Ah, with marine sea-dogs, to have torn the timid 

sailors in pieces ; 
Or how he told the transformation of Tereus' body ; 


What banquets, what presents, Philomela for him 

made ready ; 
With what speed he sought the deserts, and, too, 80 

with what wings, 
111 fated, over the palace, at one time his own, he 

All these he sings, which the happy Eurotas 

heard, and then 
Bade its laurels learn by heart while Phoebus was 

singing : 
To the stars they are carried by the echoing valleys ; 
Till Vesper warned them to gather the sheep in 85 

their enclosures, 
And count the number, and came forth from reluc- 
tant Olympus. 




Daphnis by chance had sat down under a whisper- 
ing ilex, 
Corydon, too, and Thirsis had driven their flocks 

Thirsis the sheep, Corydon the goats with milk 

Both in the flower of their age, both Arcadians also, 
5 Equally matched in singing, and also ready to 

To me, while from the cold I was the tender myrtles 

Hither the he-goat himself, the leader of the flock 

had wandered ; 
And I espy Daphnis. When he sees me in turn, 

* 'Hither come quickly/ ' 
He says, "O Meliboeus, the he-goat is safe and the 

kids ; 
io And if thou canst awhile linger, rest thee under the 

Hither to drink the bullocks themselves shall come 

through the meadow, 
Here the Mincius has fringed the green banks with 

the tender 
Reed, and the young swarms of bees resound from 

the sacred oak tree". 


What could I do ? I had neither Alcippe, nor Phillis, 

To shut up the lambs at home, that from the milk *5 
had been taken, 

And there was a great contest, Corydon vying with 

I, however,put off for their play my serious business: 

Therefore both began to contend in alternate verses; 

The Muses wished that they should remember al- 
ternate verses. 

Corydon these, those Thirsis, in due order recited. 20 


Ye Libethrian Nymphs, my delight, grant to me 

Such a song as ye gave to my Codrus ; poems 

makes he next 
To the verses of Phoebus ; or if we all cannot do this , 
Here on this sacred pine shall hang my whispering 

reed pipe. 


Ye Arcadian shepherds, deck your rising poet 25 
with ivy, 

That the sides of Codrus may burst asunder with 

Or if he shall praise me beyond what is pleasing, 

bind then his forehead 
With baccar, lest an evil tongue should harm the 

future poet. 


Delia, little Micon this head of a bristly wild boar, 
30 And the branching horns of a long lived deer to 
thee offers. 
If this shall be lasting, thou shalt stand at thy full 

In polished marble having thy legs bound with 
purple buskin. 

It is enough for thee to expect a bowl of milk, O 

And these cakes yearly. Thou art the keeper of a 
poor garden. 
35 Now according to the times, we have made thee of 
marble ; 
But if the increase of the flock permit, be thou 

Galatea, daughter of Nereus, sweeter to me than 
The thyme of Hybla, whiter than swans, more fair 

than white ivy ; 
As soon as the well fed bullocks shall return to 
their stables, 
40 Come, if for thy Corydon, any care shall possess 



May I seem to thee more bitter than Sardinian 

Rougher than the butcher's broom, more worthless 

than sea-weed, 


If this day is not now longer to me than a whole 

Go home if ye have any shame, go home, my well 

fed bullocks. 


Ye mossy fountains, and grass that is softer than 45 

sleep is, 
And the arbute tree which covers you with its green 

Guard the herd from the mid-summer heat ; now 

the scorching 
Summer is coming, now the buds on the clinging 

vine-branch are swelling. 
Here is a hearth and resinous torches, here is at all 

Very much fire, and door posts blackened with 50 

smoke long continued : 
Here we care as much for the cold of the north 

wind as the wolf doth 

For the number, or the torrent for the banks of the 



Here stand both the junipers and also the prickly 

chestnuts : 
All around under every tree its own apples lie 

scattered ; 
All things are now smiling : but if handsome Alexis 55 
Should go from these mountains, you would see 

even the rivers dry up. 



The field is parched ; dying by fault of the air, the 
herbage is thirsty ; 

X,iber has denied our hills the shade of the vine- 
leaves : 

Every grove will be green at the approach of our 


5 And with joyous showers, Jove will come down in 



The poplar is to Alcides, the vine to Bacchus, most 

Myrtles to beautiful Venus, his own laurel to 

Phoebus ; 
Phillis loves the hazels : so long as she shall love 

Neither myrtle nor laurel of Phoebus shall conquer 

the hazels. 


6$ The ash is fairest in the woods, the pine in the 
The poplar by the rivers, the fir in the lofty 

mountains ; 
But if, my charming Lycidas, thou dost visit me 

The ash in the forests shall yield to thee, the pine 
in the gardens. 

These verses, I recall ; and that in vain with Cory- 
don, Thirsis, 
70 Conquered, contended. From that time, Corydon, 
Cory don is mine. 



The Muse of the shepherds Damon and Alphe- 

siboeus — 
Whom contending, the heifer of her grazing un- 

Gazed at with wonder, at whose song were the 

lynxes astonished 
And the rivers changed in their courses were quiet- 
ly resting — 
I will sing the Muse of Damon and Alphesiboeus. 5 

Whether for me over the rocks of great Timavus 

thou passest 
Now, or art coasting along the shore of the Illyrian 

Will that day ever come, when to sing thy deeds, I 

shall be permitted ? 
Ah, will it be that I shall be permitted to carry 
Through the whole world thy songs alone worthy of 10 

Sophocles' buskin? 
From thee is the beginning ; I will with thee 

discontinue : 
The songs begun by thy commands accept, and 

surfer this ivy 
To creep among the victorious laurels over thy 

y Scarcely had the cold shade of night withdrawn 

from the heaven, 


15 What time the dew on the tender grass is most 
grateful to cattle, 
When thus began Damon, leaning on a tapering 


Lucifer, rise and going before bring on the kindly- 

While I complain, deceived by love of my be- 
trothed Nisa, 

Of which she was unworthy; and the gods, al- 
though I gained nothing 
20 From them as witnesses, in my last hour I pray to 
while dying. 
Begin with me, my pipe, the Maenalian verses. 

Msenalus both a rustling forest and whispering pine 

Always possesses ; he always listens to loves of 
the shepherds, 

And to Pan who first never suffered the reeds to be 
25 Begin with me, my pipe, the Maenalian verses. 

Nisa to Mopsus is given : what shall we lovers not 
look for ? 

Now shall griffins with horses be joined, and the 
following era, 

Timid deer shall come with dogs to the watering 

Mopsus, cut thy new torches : a wife to thee is 


Scatter, bridegroom, the nuts : Hesperus, for thee, 30 
leaves CEta. 
Begin with me, my pipe, the Maenalian verses. 

thou to a worthy man joined while thou despisest 

all others, 
And while my pipe is odious to thee, and while too 

my goats, 
And my bushy eyebrows and my flowing beard also, 
Nor believest that any god cares for things done by 35 

mortals ! 
Begin with me, my pipe, the Maenalian verses. 
When thou wast a little girl, I saw thee with thy 

mother plucking 
Dewey apples in our gardens — I was thy leader. 
The next year above eleven had then received me ; 

1 was not able from the ground to reach the delicate 40 


How I gazed, how I languished, how a fatal mad- 
ness possessed me ! 
Being with me, my pipe, the Maenalian verses. 

Now I know what love is : on the rugged cliffs, 

Ismarus, or else Rhodope, or the remote Garamantes, 

A boy neither of our race nor of our blood, pro- 45 
duced him. 
Being with me, my pipe, the Maenalian verses. 

With the blood of her sons, relentless love taught a 

To pollute her hands ; thou mother also wast cruel. 


Was that mother more cruel or that boy more base- 
hearted ? 
50 That boy was base-hearted ; thou mother also was 
Begin with me, my pipe, the Maenalian verses. 
Now let the wolf flee willingly from the sheep ; let 

the hard oak trees 
Bear golden apples ; let the alder bloom with the 

narcissus ; 
From their barks let the tamarisks be distilling rich 
amber ; 
55 And let owls vie with swans ; let Tityrus be 
changed to Orpheus, 
Tityrus in the forests, Arion among the dolphins. 
Begin with me, my pipe, the Maenalian verses. 
Lest all things become the very midst of the sea : 

farewell ye forests ! 
Headlong will I from the summit of the aerial 
60 Into the waves cast myself ; from me dying, take 
this last present. 
Leave off, my pipe, leave off now the Maenalian 
These things said Damon; tell me what, ye 
Pierian Muses, 
Alphesiboeus responded : not all of us can do all 



Bring forth water, and bind these altars with a 
soft fillet, 


And burn unctuous vervain, also large grains of 65 

That I may try to turn away the sound mind of my 

By rites magic and sacred : nothing but charms 

here is wanting. 
Bring home from the city, my charms, bring ye 

back Daphnis. 
Charms have power to bring down the moon even 

from heaven ; 
Circe by her charms transformed Ulysses' com- 70 

panions ; 
The cold snake in the meadows is burst open by 


Bring home from the city, my charms, bring ye 

back Daphnis. 
First these threefold threads diversified with 

triple colors, 
I bind around about thee, and three times round 

these altars 
Thine image I carry : the god delights in a num- 75 

ber uneven. 
Bring home from the city, my charms, bring ye 

back Daphnis. 
Triple colors bind in three knots, O Amaryllis, 
Bind them now, Amaryllis, and say, 'I bind the 

chains of Venus \ 
Bring home from the city, my charms, bring ye 

back Daphnis. 

S 1 

80 As this clay is hardened, and as this wax is 

By one and the same fire, so by my love may 

Daphnis be softened. 
Scatter the salt cake ; and burn with bitumen the 

crackling laurels. 
Cruel Daphnis burns me, I burn on Daphnis this 

Bring home from the city, my charms, bring ye 

back Daphnis. 
85 May such love take possession of Daphnis as 

when a heifer, 
Weary with searching for the bullock through all 

the woodlands 
And lofty thickets, desperate, falls down by a 

stream of water, 
On a green sedge, nor late at night thinks of re- 
treating : 
May such love take hold of him, nor may I care for 

his healing. 
90 Bring home from the city, my charms, bring ye 

back Daphnis. 
That perfidious one left formerly to me these 

The dear pledges of himself, which now at the very 

O earth, to thee I commit ; these pledges owe to 

me Daphnis. 
Bring home from the city, my charms, bring ye 

back Daphnis. 


These herbs, and these poisonous plants, also, 95 

gathered in Pontus, 
Mceris himself gave to me ; they grow very plenty 

in Pontus. 
By these I have often seen Mceris become a wolf 

and putting 
Himself in the woods often call forth ghosts from 

the depths of their graves, 
And transfer to another ground also the growing 

Bring home from the city, my charms, bring ye 1oo 

back Daphnis. 
Bring ashes forth, Amaryllis, and into a flowing 

Over thy head cast them, nor look back : with these 

I will assail ; for the gods and for songs he cares 

Bring home from the city, my charms, bring ye 

back Daphnis. 
See, the very ashes with trembling flames have 105 

seized the altars 
Of themselves, while I delay to remove them : be 

it a good omen ! 
I know not what surely it is, and at the gate Hylas is 

Shall I believe it, or to themselves are dreams 

formed by lovers ? 
Cease now, my charms, cease ye, from the city 

comes Daphnis. 



Where dost thou go, Moeris ? is it the way that 
leads to the city ? 

We have, O Lycidas, lived to see the day when a 

(Which we never feared) as possessor of my little 

Should say : 'these things are mine ; go away 
former tillers ! ' 
5 Overcome now and sorrowful, seeing that chance 
controls all things, 
These kids — nor may he get good from it — I to him 
turn over. 


Certainly indeed I had heard where the hills begin 

To slope, and by an easy declension to lower their 

Even to the water and to the old now broken topped 

*° Your Menalcas by his verses hath preserved all 



True thou hadst heard, and it was the report ; but 


Lycidas, have among the weapons of v/ar as much 

As they say, do Chaonian doves when the eagle is 

In fact, unless the ill-boding crow had before- 
hand admonished 

Me from the hollow ilex some way to cut short new 15 

Neither thy Moeris here would be alive nor even 


Ah, does so great crime occur to any one person ? 
Ah, were thy charms nearly snatched from us the 

same time, Menalcas, 
With thyself ? Who would sing of the Nymphs ? 

Who would scatter 
The ground with flowering herbage, or with green 20 

shade cover the fountains ? 
Or who would have sung the songs which I in si- 
lence took from thee lately 
When thou was wont to resort to our dear Amaryllis? 
'Tityrus, — short is the way — feed my goats while I 

am returning ; 
And when they are fed, to watering, Tityrus, drive 

And while driving, beware of the he-goat, he butts 25 

with his horn/ 


Nay these rather which to Varus he sang nor yet 
finished : 


'Only just let Mantua still be spared to us, Varus — 
Mantua too near, alas, to unhappy Cremona — 
And thy name shall the singing swans to the stars 

bear upward*. 

30 So may thy swarms of bees flee from the Cyrnean 

yew trees ; 
So may thy cows fed with clover make larger their 

Begin if thou hast aught ; the Muses too made me 

a poet. 
I too have my verses in possession ; the shepherds 
Also call me an inspired bard ; but I do not give 

them credit. 
35 For neither as yet do I seem to sing things worthy 

of Varus, 
Nor Cinna, but among the rustling swans like a 

goose to gabble. 

That indeed I do, andLycidas, I am thinking it over, 
To see if I can remember it, nor is it a worthless 

ballad : 
'Hither come, O Galatea ; for what sport is there 

in the billows ? 
40 Here is blooming Spring ; the earth here near by 

the rivers 
Pours forth various flowers ; here the white poplar 

hangs over 
The grotto, and vines that are flexible weave shady 



Hither come ; let the raging billows beat upon the 


But what were the songs, which in a clear night I 

heard thee alone singing ? 
I remember the measure, if I could call to mind the 45 



'Daphnis, why dost thou gaze at the rise of the old 

constellations ? 
IyO, the star of Dionaean Csesar hath onward 

The star under which the fields with corn would be 

And under which the grape on sunny hills would 

take on color. 
Graft the pear trees, Daphnis : thy descendants 50 

shall pluck the fruitage.' 
Age bears away all things, even the soul; Ire- 
When a boy often to have spent the long days of 

Summer in singing : 
Now these many songs have I forgotten ; also the 

voice hath 
Now itself fled from Moeris ; the wolves first have 

seen Moeris. 
But yet often enough to thee will Menalcas repeat 55 




Making excuses, thou puttest off for a long time my 

wishes : 
And now all the water lies to thee smooth and 

See how hath died away all the breath of the mur- 
muring breezes. 
From here half our journey remains to us ; for now 

60 Bianor's tomb to make its appearance : here where 

the farmers 
The dense foliage prune away, here let us sing, 

Moeris ; 
Here lay down thy kids : however yet we shall 

come to the city. 
Or, if we are fearful that the night may gather rain 

ere we reach it, 
We may go on all the time singing, (the way will 

make us less weary) ; 
65 That we may go on singing, I will ease thee of this 



Urge me no more, boy, and let us now do what is 

before us : 
We shall sing better songs, when he himself shall 

have come here. 



Grant unto me, O Arethusa, this final endeavor : 
A few verses must be sung to my Gallus, but such as 
Lycoris herself would read : who would deny verses 

to Gallus ? 
So when thou glidest under the Sicanian waters, 
Let not bitter Doris her wave with thine intermingle. 5 
Begin ; let us sing the solicitous longings of Gallus, 
While the flat-nosed goats the tender thickets are 

We cannot sing to the deaf ; the woodlands echo 

back all things. 
What forests or what mountain passes, ye Naiad 

Hindered you when Gallus was pining with love 10 

unrequited ? 
For neither any tops of Parnassus, nor those of 

Nor Aonian Aganippe, caused you detention. 
Even the laurels, even the tamarisks also be- 
moaned him. 
Even now the pine bearing Maenalus wept for him 

Under a lonely rock, and the cold stones of Lycaeus. jg 
His very sheep stand around him ; neither do they 

disdain us, 
Nor do thou have disdain for thy flock, O divine 

poet : — 


Kven the handsome Adonis pastured sheep by the 

waters ; 
Also the shepherd came, and there came the slow- 
moving swineherds ; 
20 And wet through with gathering the winter mast 

came Menalcas. 
All question 'whence is this love of thine ? ' 

Here came Apollo. 
'Gallus, why ravest thou?' he says ; 'Lycoris, who 

is thy darling, 
Both through the snows and through the rough 

camps hath followed another.' 
Also Sylvanus too came with his head's rural honor, 
25 Shaking the flowering fennels, and besides the 

large lilies. 
Pan came, the god of Arcadia, whom we ourselves 

Stained with the purple berries of elder and also 

' What limit will there be,' he says ; 'love does not 

care for such things. 
Cruel love is not satisfied with tears, nor grassy 

30 With streams of water, nor bees with clover, nor 

with leaves the goats.' 
But he sorrowful said : 'Yet ye shall be, Arca- 
dians, singing 
These things in your mountains : the Arcadians only 
Are skilled in singing. Then may my bones, O 

how softly, be resting, 


If thy pipe in future times shall sing of my longings ! 
And besides would that I had been one of you, and 35 

Keeper of your flock, or vintager of the grape 

ripened ! 
Certainly, whether Phillis had been my love or 

Or whoever it might have been — what if Amyntas 

were swarthy ? 
Both the violets are dark and the hyacinths are dark — 
He would have lain with me under the pliant vine 40 

among the willows : 
Phillis would gather garlands for me, Amyntas be 

'Here there are cool fountains, Lycoris, here are 

soft meadows, 
Here is a forest ; here with thee my very life I 

could be spending. 
Now my crazy love of cruel war in arms detains me 
In the very midst of weapons, and foes opposing. 4 c 
Thou far off from thy native land, (nor let me be- 
lieve it) ! 
Ah, Alpine snows only, thou seest, and the Rhine's 

severe rigors. 
Alone without me : ah, may not the cold to thee be 

harmful ! 

Ah, may not the sharp ice cut the soles of thy feet 
that are tender ! 
'I will go and on a Sicilian shepherd's reed warble 50 


The songs, which in Chalcidian verse, by me have 

been written. 
It is certain that in the woods I had rather suffer, 
Among the dens of wild beasts, and my loves on 

the tender 
Trees cut ; as those will grow, so my loves, ye 

shall be growing. 
55 'In the meanwhile, in company with the Nymphs, 

will I rove over 
Maenalus, or hunt fierce wild boars: not any cold 

shall forbid me 
From encompassing with dogs the Parthenian 

Now to myself I seem, over the rocks and through 

the resounding 
Groves to go ; it pleases me to shoot Cydonian 

60 From a Parthian bow :— as if this were a cure for 

my frenzy, 
Or as if that god could learn by the evils of men to 

be softened ! 
'Neither now again do the Nymphs of the forest 

nor verses 
Even please me any more ; farewell again even ye 

Not any sufferings of ours have the power to change 

65 Neither if in the midst of winter we should both 

drink of the Hebrus, 


And if we should the Sithonian snows of watery 

Undergo, nor if, when withers the bark on the lofty 
elm dying 

The sheep of the Ethiopians under the sign of 

We should tend ; love conquers all things ; and to 
love let us surrender.' 
To have sung these strains will be enough, di- 70 
vine Muses, 

For your poet ; while he sits and weaves a little 

Of slender marsh mallow : these ye will make most 
precious to Gallus — 

To Gallus for whom my love as milch hourly in- 

As in the spring early, the green alder shoots up- 

Let us rise, the evening shade is wont to be harm- 75 
ful to singers ; 

The shade of the juniper does 'harm ; to grain shade 
is harmful. 

Go home, my goats, well-fed, go home, forth comes 
the star of the evening. 



Virgil, whose whole name in the Latin language 
was Publius Virgilius Maro, was born in the town of 
Andes near Mantua in the year 70, B. C, on the 
19th of October. His father early perceived his su- 
perior natural ability and took immediate steps to 
have him educated, providing for him the best in- 
tellectual training the world then afforded. At the 
age of twelve years he was sent to Cremona to receive 
instruction, and his father probably accompanied 
him there. He was very fortunate in having a father, 
who, though in humble life himself, discerned the 
intellectual qualities in the mind of his son and used 
every means to develop them to the fullest extent. 
At the age of 16 he assumed the toga virilis, and soon 
after went to Milan where he continued his studies 
for two years and then went to Rome. 

At the time of his arrival, the poems of Lucretius 
and Catullus were being brought before the public, 
and they were the first poems in the Latin language 
that were truly artistic. The influence of this on the 
susceptible mind of a youth like Virgil could not fail 
to awaken enthusiasm and to excite aspirations for 
high attainments and high enjoyment of the beau- 
tiful and the useful in the realm of thought expressed 
in the language of Rome which had then reached its 
highest point of culture. We may infer what were 
his impressions at this time by a few lines in the first 
Eclogue where he ma,kes Tityrus say: 

"I suppose the city which they called Rome, Melibceus, 

Foolish that I was, like this one whither we sheperds 

Often to drive down the tender young- of our sheep are 

So I had known whelps similar to dogs, so kids to their 



So I was wont to compare great things with things that are 

Truly this place hath as much lifted its head among other 

As the cypresses are wont among the pliant viburnums." 

He studied for some time after this under the in- 
struction of a rhetorician, and then gave his attention 
to philosophy under Siron, an Epicurean, who seemed 
to have the faculty of inspiring his pupils with deep 
interest in their studies and who also gained their strong 
affection. Virgil here became deeply interested in phil- 
osophical speculations and throughout his life con- 
tinued the consideration of such subjects. 

A few years after this, when he was 28 years of age, 
he began to compose the Eclogues, a task which it took 
him four years to complete. In these he pictures vivid- 
ly the beauties of rural scenery, the charms of home 
life in the country and the ties of affection that so 
sweeten and ennoble human existence. This period 
was probably spent at the home of his father near the 
banks of the Mincius in northern Italy, where nature 
has poured forth her gifts in prolific abundance, where 
the air is clear and life-giving, where bright skies invite 
the stars to look down on us and where fields, wood- 
lands and flowing streams call people to tranquility, 
peace and joy. 

Virgil's next work was the Georgics, a poem de- 
voted to the various branches of agricultural pursuits 
and embracing four books. On this he spent seven 
years, producing the most perfect of all his poems as 
a work of art, and the most entirely in harmony with 
life in Italy. 

He had very much at heart the composition of an 
Epic poem which should bring forcibly before the 
minds of the people the origin of their country and the 
characteristics of their race, both with reference to the 


past and to what might be in the future. This he ac- 
complished in writing the Aeneid, which required 
eleven years. In it he gives us history, human life, 
philosophy and religion. 

His characters are noble and refined. They manifest 
in what they say to each other, and in what they do, an 
honorable, dignified, benevolent spirit. All this is so 
beautifully and attractively presented that even young 
students are deeply impressed in reading it and are 
thereby led to cherish high ideals in life. 

When he was 51 years of age, he went to Athens 
with a view of giving more time to study amidst he 
classic scenes of Greece, but soon after his arrival there, 
he met Augustus, who was on his return from his vic- 
tories in the East, and through his influence Virgil was 
induced to return to Italy. During the voyage he 
became seriously ill, and died, after lingering a few 
days, in the 52d year of his age, at Brundisium, Sep- 
tember 22, B. C. 19. 

Virgil was tall and swarthy. He never enjoyed 
very firm health. He was refined in his nature, and 
also most loveable in character and personality. 

His Eclogues at once gave him the first place among 
Roman poets. He has always been considered the 
greatest poet in the Latin language; and today he is 
regarded as one of the most illustrious poets of the 
world, in some respects greater even than Homer. 

He left his works to the world, in the language of a 
distinguished poet who was well qualified to judge of 
their merit, in "The noblest metre ever moulded by 
the lips of man." This is the metre of Homer, and it 
is used by Longfellow in his Evangeline and in some 
of his other poems. 

e 7 


In this poem Virgil expresses his gratitude to the emperor 
Augustus for restoring to him his lands which had been taken 
from him to give the soldiers for services rendered in the bat- 
tle of Philippi, in which the exaltation of Augustus to the 
throne was made possible. By Tityrus is represented Virgil, 
and by Meliboeus the less fortunate residents of the vicinity, 
who were deprived of their estates permanently. The lands 
of Mantua, Virgil's home, and Cremona near by were thus 
taken from their owners and given to the soldiers. Virgil on 
account of his literary attainments was accordingly favored. 


t Y 1 • Tityrus : this is a general name taken from Theocritus and 
signifies a goat. This, like most of the other proper names 
here used, is from the Greek. 
5. Amaryllis, a favorite Greek name signifying "bright-eyes". 

6. Meliboeus, a Greek name meaning cowherd. 

27. Rome, situated on the river Tiber, founded by Romulus, 
B. C. 753. 

31. Galatea is thought to stand allegorically for Mantua, 
near which Virgil was born; and Amaryllis for Rome. 

63. Parthian, an adjective from Parthia, a country in Asia. 
The Arar, a river in Gaul. 

64. Tigris, a river in Asia. 

66. Scythia, a country in the northern part of Asia. Oaxee, a 

river in Crete. 

83. The smoking is from the fires kindled to prepare supper. 


The subject of this poem is the fondness of the shepherd 
Corydon for the beautiful boy Alexis whom Virgil had seen at 
the house of Pollio and whose beauty he celebrates in this de- 
lightful song. So pleased was Pollio with this poem that he 
gave the boy, who was a slave, to Virgil ; and being educated 
with much care, the slave became a distinguished grammarian, 
under his real name of Alexander. This is not certain, though 



1. The shepherd Cory don who is fond of the boy Alexis. 
10. Thestylis, the name of a servant. 

14. Amaryllis and Menalcas, former objects of Corydon's 

21. Sicilian. Many wealthy Romans had estates in Sicily, 
and there were excellent pastures there. $j 

24. Amphion was the mythic founder of Thebes whose 
walls rose at the music of his lyre. Aracinthus is the mountain 
ridge that devides Boeotia from Attica. Actaean, an adjective 
from Attica. Dircaean from Dirce, a fountain near Thebes. 

26. Daphnis. A beautiful shepherd, the mythic paragon 
of pastoral poetry. 

31. Pan, the god of shepherds and hunters. He is said 
to have invented the pipe with seven reeds. 
46. Nais, a nymph of the water. 
57. Iollas, the master of Alexis. 

61. Paris, the son of Priam, king of ./Troy. Pallas, the 
goddess of wisdom and skill. 


In this poem we have a trial of skill between two poets, 
Menalcas and Damcetas. After a short discussion with each 
other in which the criticism is quite sharp, they agree to hold 
a contest in alternate couplets. These are entirely discon- 
nected, and some of them are merely sarcastic jokes which they 
make upon each other, the poet, under the character of 
Damcetas, thus exprjising ridicule for some who had at- 
tempted to rival him. Though in imitation of Theocritus, 
the poem is purely Roman in thought and expression. 


2. Aegon, the name of a shepherd. 
4. Neara, a rustic maid. 

17. Damon, a goatherd. 

18. Lycisca, a mongrel dog, half dog and half wolf. 

27. Alcimedon, a sculptor. 

40. Conon, an astronomer of Alexandria. 
50. Palaemon, a shepherd. 

62. Phoebus, another name of Apollo. 

67. Delia, perhaps Diana, who is sometimes called Delia 
from .Delos the place of her birth, or perhaps a servant of 

84. Pollio, a noble Roman, a friend of Virgil. 

e 9 

r 90. Bavius,and Maevius, obscure and envius poets of the 
time of Virgil. 

I 105. By some this space is supposed to be at the bottom 
of a well. 

£ 106. The flower here referred to is supposed to be the hya- 
cinth, which has veins in it similar to the letters, AI, and 
which are the Greek for alas! and which might also be an 
abreviation of Ajax. 


We have in this Eclogue a prophecy of a better time about 
to come, a golden age, when peace would prevail and when 
righteousness would be exalted among men. The hope of 
this existed in Italy, and other nations were expecting better 
days in the immediate future. The poem is dedicated to 
Pollio, Virgil's patron, and is supposed to refer to his son 
born about this time. But the latter died when nine days 
old. Others think it refers to a son of Octavia, the sister of 
Augustus, who was born at nearly the same time; but this 
boy lived to be only twenty years of age. Still others think 
it is a prophecy of the coming of the Savior whose birth is 
predicted in Scripture. 


1. Sicilian Muses, muses of pastoral song; called thus 
because Theocritus,the father of pastoral poetry,was a Sicilian. 

4. Cumaean, from the island of Cumae, where the earliest 
Sibyl had her residence. 

5. The four ages of gold, silver, brass and iron. The 
iron age is supposed to be coming to a close, and the golden 
age to be about to begin anew. 

6. The Virgin, the goddess Astraea, who presided over 
justice, said to be the last of the deities that left the earth 
on account of the numerous crimes committed here; now 
about to return in a better age. The Saturnian age is associated 
with Saturnus, the Italian god of husbandry. 

8. Lucina, here applied to Diana, as giving light. It 
was supposed that the god Apollo would reign during this age. 

34. Tiphys, the pilot of the Argo, the ship in which 
Jason sailed to Colchis for the golden fleece. 

55. Orpheus and Linus, were mythic bards of the heroic 
age. Orpheus was said to be the son of the muse Calliopea, 
and Linus the son of Apollo. 

59. Pan, whose country was Arcadia, was fond of music. 
He was the god of shepherds. Even Pan's home would 
acknowledge that he was vanquished in this contest. 



This pastoral was written to commemorate the death of 
some person of distinction who is here called Daphnis. There 
have been various opinions in regard to the person referred to. 
Many have supposed that the poet had in view Julius Cassar 
who met death at the hands of Brutus, in the senate house, 
and was afterwards enrolled among the Roman deities. In 
the early part of the poem, the shepherd Mopsus laments the 
death of Daphnis; in the latter part of it, Menalcas, rep- 
resenting Virgil, describes the welcome of Daphnis among the 
gods and the rites observed in honor of him as a divinity. 

20. Daphnis, the ideal shepherd, represented by Theocri- 
tus as drowned and his death bewailed by the nymphs. 

35. Pales, a goddess of the flock. Apollo was keeper of 
the flocks of Admetus, and was a patron of shepherds. 

59. Dryads, nymphs of the grove. 

79. Bacchus, the god of wine. Ceres, the goddess of 


Varus with Cornelius Gallus had been appointed to carry 
into effect the distribution of the lands in the north of Italy. 
By request of Varus that Virgil would write an epic poem, 
Virgil sent him these verses. He would gladly, he says, 
have sung the heroic deeds of Varus ; but Apollo checked the 
flight of his muse : and he brings before us Silenus, a fabulous 
deity who sings the beginning of things, in accordance with 
the Epicurean philosophy, which was a popular theory at 
that time, and which Varus as well as the poets enjoyed. 

1. Thalia, one af the Muses, supposed to preside over 
comedy and pastoral poetry. Syracusan, from Syracuse, the 
birthplace of Theocritus, the first eminent pastoral poet. 

3. Cynthius, a name of Apollo, from a mountain in Delos. 
11. Phoebus, a name of Apollo. 

13. Chromis and Mnasyllus, two young satyrs. 

14. Silenus, an attendant of Bacchus. 

20. Aegle, a name of a nymph. 

21. Naiads, water nymphs. 

27. Fauns, gods of the woods. 

29. Parnassian, from Parnassus, a mountain in Phocis a 
district m Greece, sacred to the Muses and made famous by 
the poets. Here was a temple of Apollo. 


30. Rhodope and Ismarus, two ranges of mountains in 
Thrace, the home of Orpheus, a mythical poet. 

41. The stones thrown behind them by Deucalion and 
Pyrrha after the flood, from which sprang a new race of men. 
Saturnian kingdoms, the golden age. 

42. The poets say Prometheus stole fire from heaven. 

44. Hylas, a youth who went with Hercules on the 
expedition of the Argonauts, and was carried away by the 
nymphs, who admired his beauty. 

45. Pasiphae, daughter of "Helios, the Greek sun-god, 
and wife of Minos ; she had a mad passion for a bull. 

48. The daughters of Proeteus, who were rendered mad by 
Juno because they despised her worship, and who imagined 
they were changed into heifers. 

56. Dictsean, from Dicte, a mountain in Crete. 

60. Gortynian, from Gortyna, a city of Crete famous for 
its pastures. 

61. The daughters of Hesperus are said to have had 
gardens in which were trees that bore golden apples. 

62. The sisters of Phaethon who were said to have been 
transformed into poplar trees. 

64. Gallus, a distinguished Roman poet of the time of 

65. Permessus, a river of Boeotia rising at the foot of Mount 
Helicon. Aonian mountains, Mount Helicon and MountCy th- 
era in Boeotia. 

67. Linus, a mythical poet, son of Apollo and Terpsichore, 
an excellent musician and teacher of Orpheus and Hercules. 

70. The Ascrasan old man, JHesiod, born in Ascra near 
Mt. Helicon, father of the songs of husbandry, and poet of 
the old cosmogony. 

72. Grynaean, from Grynaeum, a city of Aeolis, where 
Appollo had a temple. 

74. Scylla, daughter of Nisus. The lower part of her 
body was transformed into hideous monsters : she was finally 
changed into the rock which bears her name between Italy 
and Sicily, opposite Charybdis. 

77. Dulichan, from Dulichium, an island in the Ionian 
sea, near Ithaca, the home of Ulysses. 

78. Tereus, a king of Thrace. 

79. Philomela was a sister of Procne. The latter was 
the wife of Tereus. When the sisters took revenge upon him 
for the wrong that he had done, he pursued them with a weapon ; 
and when he had overtaken them, the sisters prayed to the 


fods that they might be changed into birds. Philomel 
ecame a nightingale, Procne a swallow, Tereus a hoopoo, and 
Itys, the son of Tereus and Procne, became a pheasant. 
This is strictly a bucholic poem. It contains a poetical 
contest between the shepherds Corydon and Thirsis with 
Daphnis for umpire. Some are of the opinion that by Cory- 
don and Thirsis we are to suppose the poet represents Gallus 
and Pollio. Melibceus is thought to be Virgil and Daphnis 
a mutual friend of theirs. They carefully listen to the songs 
and give the palm to Corydon. The scene is laid on the banks 
of the river Mincius in northern Italy. 

2, Corydon, is from a Greek word signifying a lark. Thyr- 
sis is also from a Greek word signifying a spear bound with a 
vine in honor of Bacchus. 

8. Daphnis is from a Greek word signifying a laurel. 
12. Mincius, a small river. 
14. Alcippe and Phyllis, the names of two servants. 

21. Libethrian, from Libethra, a fountain in Bceotia. 

22. Codrus, a shepherd poet. 

29. Delia, a name of Diana from Delos, the place of her 
birth. Mi con, a hunter. 

33. Priapus, was a god of gardens, half god and half 

37. Nereus, the god of the sea, Neptune; Galatea, his 
daughter ; Hy bla, a mountain in Sicily famous for its honey. 

41. Sardinian, from the island of Sardinia where an herb 
grew having prickly leaves and a very bitter taste, which is 
said to produce a convulsive laughter with grinning. Hence 
the expression a "Sardonic grin" denoting a forced laughter. 

57. Liber, a name of Bacchus. 

61. Alcldes, another name for Hercules from Alcaeus his 

This poem begins by introducing to us two shepherds, 
Damon and Alphesiboeus, whose songs filled animals with 
admiration and astonishment, and caused the rivers to 
change their courses and stand still. It is in two parts. In 
the first, Damon is the speaker; in the second, Alphesiboeus. 
Damon complains of the loss of his love, Nisa, who has mar- 
ried another. In the second part Alphesiboeus tells of the 
charms of Amaryllis, an enchantress, whom a maiden made 
use of to bring back her loved one, Daphnis, who had neglected 


and gone from her. It is inscribed in most expressive language 
to an unnamed person, whom some suppose to be Pollio, 
others Julius Caesar, though Pollio is undoubtedly the one 
referred to. The poem is exceedingly beautiful. 


6. Timavu8. This was a stream flowing into the Adria- 
tic, or what is now the Gulf of Venice, near Trieste. 

7. Ulyrian, from Illyricum, a country bordering on the 
Adriatic sea. 

10. Sopho clean, from Sophocles, an Athenian who was a 
famous author of tragic poetry. The buskin was used by 

17. Lucifer, the morning star, identical with Venus. 

18. Nisa, a rustic maiden. 

21. Maenalian, Arcadian. 

22. Maenalus, a mountain in Arcadia. 

24. Pan, the god of shepherds and flocks. 

27. Griffins. These were fabulous animals having the 
body of a lion and the wings and back of an eagle. 

30. Hesperus, the evening star. Oeta, a mountain of great 
height in Thessaly. 

44, Ismarus and Rhodope are very wild and rocky moun- 
tains in Thrace. The Garamantes are inhabitants of tha 
center of Africa. All these are used as symbols of barbarism. 

55. Orpheus, a mythical poet before the time of Homer. 

56. Arion, a famous lyric poet of Lesbos, cast into the sea 
by sailors, and rescued by a dolphin. Dolphins were supposed 
to be fond of music. 

70. Circe, a sorceress, daughter of Helios, the sun. Ulys- 
ses ,the hero of Homer's "Odyssey". 

95. Pontus, a country in Asia Minor bordering on the Eux- 
ine sea. It abounded in poisonous herbs. 

96. Moeris, a magician. 

101. Ashes are supposed to have been used as a symbol of 
what it was desired to banish from memory. They were 
thrown over the head backward into running water so as to 
be seen no more; or perhaps with the thought that the gods 
who were believed not to wish to be seen by men, except upon 
unusual occasions, would come up behind and receive them, 
and thus it was hoped that Daphnis would be entirely driven 
from remembrance if he did not return. 

107. Hylas, the name of a dog from a Greek word signify- 
ing to bark. 



In these lines we have a dialogue between Moeris, Virgil's 
steward, and Lycidas, a neighboring shepherd. They meet on 
the way. The lands in the vicinity of Mantua had been given 
by Augustus to the soldiers who had served him ; and Virgil 
had been cruelly treated by the rough soldier to whom his 
estate had been assigned, and only escaped with his life by 
swimming the river Mincius. Menalcas in this poem represents 
Virgil. Lycidas, in beautiful poetic description, tells Moeris 
of his own misfortune in losing his property, and Moeris, in 
lines as charming, relates the good fortune of his master in 
having his lands restored to him through the kindness of the 
Emperor. Some translations of poetical quotations, prob- 
ably from Theocritus, are interspersed, and the whole of this 
discussion is poetical and beautiful as only a poet like the 
author could make it. 


13. C ha oman, from Chaonia, a part of Epirus in which 
was the city of Dodona ; here was a shrine of Jupiter. Some 
prophetic doves were said to reside in oak trees there. 

28. Cremona, a city on the banks of the river Po, near 
Mantua. Its people had suffered in the same way as Mantua 
in having their lands taken from them and given to the soldiers. 

30. Cyrnean, from Cyrnus, an island in the Mediterranean 
sea the modern name of which is Corsica. The yew trees, 
in which this island abounded, caused the honey to have a 
bitter taste. 

35. Varus, a tragic and Epic poet. 

36. Cinna, a tragic poet. 
39. Galatea, a nymph. 

47. Dionaean, from Dione, a nymph of the sea, who was 
the mother of Venus; from the latter's grandson, lulus, the 
Julian family claimed to be descended. 

54. The Wolves first. There was an old superstition that 
if a person met a wolf and did not catch his eye first, it would 
strike him dumb. 

60. Bianor, the mythical founder of Mantua, fabled to 
have been the son of the river-god Tiber and Manto, daughter 
of the seer Teiresias, and to have named the city Mantua for 
his mother. 

67. He himself refers to Menalcas who represents Virgil 
in this poem. 



This poem gives an account of the disturbed condition 
of Gallus who was an able writer of poetry and a friend of 
Virgil, and also a distinguished general. When he was sent 
away on a military expedition, Lycoris, upon whom he had 
bestowed his affections, was attracted to a rough soldier and 
went with him to Gaul. Gallus therefore requested a poem 
from Virgil which might have the effect of bringing her back 
to him, and we have these lines which are in imitation of the 
first Idyl of Theocritus. 


1. Arethusa, a nymph of great beauty, the daughter of 
Nereus and Doris. She was the goddess of the fountain bear- 
ing her name which rises in the Island of Ortygia near Syra- 
cuse. It has its source in the Peloponnesus, and it is said, 
after flowing under the sea, to have burst forth as a fountain 
in the little island of Ortygia, in the bay of Syracuse, on which 
was situated a part of the city. Alpheus, a river-god, was in 
love with the nymph Arethusa who, flying from him, was 
changed into a fountain. 

5. Doris, a nymph of the sea, here put for the sea. 

11. Parnassus and Pindus, mountains in Thessaly. 

12. Aganippe, a fountain in Mount Helicon. 

14, 15. Manama and Lycseus, mountains of Arcadia. 

24. Sylvanus, a god of the woods. 

51. Chalcidian, from Chalcis, a city of Eubcea, the birth- 
place of Euphorion an elegiac poet. 

57. Parthenian, from Parthenius, a mountain of Arcadia 
where virgins used to hunt, which derives its name from 
Parthenos, a Greek word signifying a virgin. 

59. Cydonian, irom Cydonia, a city of Crete, famous for 
its arrows. 

60. The Parthians were remarkable for their skill in hand- 
ling the dow. 

62. Hamadryads, nymphs of the forest. 

65. Hebrus, the largest river in Thrace. 

66. Sithonian, from Sithonia, a part of Thrace where the 
winters were severe. 

7 6 


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